PHILOLOGISTS: SCHOLARS OR POLITICIANS?
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On the basis of the collection 'The Study of Language and the Politics of Community in Global Context' (edited by D. L. Hoyt and K. Oslund), the reviewe reflects on the phenomenon of philology, an aspiring discipline of scholarship, which oftentimes exchanged research for becoming a branch of national politics. The abandonment of objectivity as the highest ideal in the study of language began in the early 19th century when language was fashioned into an instrument of politics, and nationhood and statehood legitimization. In this scheme of things philologists easily became politicians, and numerous statesmen desired to be recognized as linguists in their own right. This politicization of linguistics continues to this day, especially in Eurasia (where ethnic nationalism seems to be the norm of state-building), but not only.
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